The final push.

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One month to go. There are, I’ve realised a lot of things to organise, when you’re being organised.

Indian and Thai visas have been granted, Vietnamese visas are being sent out in the post today. First few nights in Delhi have been booked. Jess has also been contacted by an old friend who now lives in Delhi, so hopefully they’ll show us some great food places. Travel insurance has been procured and booking Indian train tickets are my current annoyance. My visit to the travel clinic involved a typhoid booster and a dead arm. I’ve also found some quite reasonable malaria tablets from an online pharmacy.

Jess and I have been shedding stuff on Ebay, and working out how little of our possession’s we will keep for the next few years. I’ve managed to wangle an excellent tax rebate and got all the right forms to get our tax back from this working year, which is helpful.

The only things left on the list are to buy backpacks. I’ve decided on an Osprey Farpoint, for its superior daypack and Jess is keen on the Berghaus Jalan; if anyone is interested in our recommendations. We also need to get around to booking a dentist appointment and packing up all our bits and bobs to store away in my dad’s loft. He is wonderfully helpful and I am pleased to take over his loft for him.

One thing I have been doing a lot recently is reading. It’s proving to be very useful in several ways, firstly because I’m obviously reading loads of Lonely Planets and Rough Guides for all the places we hope to head to, but also because I’m getting to read a lot of travel writing. It’s been really useful for me as a hopeful blogger to read other peoples writing styles and choices of topics. Lastly, reading is free. I’m very lucky to have a well-stocked local library and it’s all helping the savings.

So anyway, I’ve collated my readings here for anyone who’s interested in a myriad of travel literature.

No Shitting In The Toilet, Peter Moore. A collection of funny travel stories, anecdotes and top ten lists. It’s what has always been referred to in my family as a “toilet book”.

The Man Who Ate The World : In Search Of The Perfect Dinner, Jay Rayner. The chapter on Tokyo was interesting as I have dinner in Tokyo on my bucket list, otherwise a bit self-indulgent.

The Man In Seat 61 – Worldwide : A Guide To Train Travel Beyond Europe, Mark Smith. Mark Smith is possibly, the most knowledgeable man in the world regarding international train travel. His books are well laid out and the website is also an excellent resource. Both have basically dragged me through the process of booking train tickets in India.

Down Under, Bill Bryson. This is the first I’ve read of Bill Bryson, it’s both interesting and funny. He commits to enough history to make it engaging and informative. I’m Looking forward to reading his Notes From A Big Country.

On The Couch, Fleur Britten & Twitchhiking : How One Man Travelled The World By Twitter, Paul Smith. Both picked up for the social media aspects. Twitch hiker is an interesting read, but his attempt at travelling is more about a set of rules and as such getting around the world without really seeing much of it. For me, it brings a new meaning to the phrase “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” It is, however, a great account of using social media to your advantage.
I’ve looked into Couchsurfing, although Jess isn’t keen. Haven’t read any of this yet, but it might be an interesting account of seeing a country from a different perspective.

Best Of Lonely Planet Travel Writing, Tony Wheeler & Travel Writing (How To Guide), Don George. If a jobs worth doing, it’s worth doing properly. I’m not saying I’m planning on becoming the next Bill Bryson, but if people who’ve been there, done it and written about it are happy to share their secrets with me I am happy to listen. It can only be helpful and improve the quality of my ramblings to listen to others who, frankly, know their shit.

Work Your Way Around The World, Susan Griffith. Another useful resource, and bought purely for the financial incentives. It’s best to be prepared and know what you can do where. Will hopefully be useful reading in the future!

The things we want to do before we have to come home and grow up list.

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This list, not to be confused with ‘The Bucket List’ is a selection of things that we would like to achieve or experience before we come back to Old Blighty.

In no particular order…

1.Learn to scuba dive.
2.Skydive.
3.Visit Komodo and see wild dragons.
4.Eat sushi in Tokyo.
5.Visit the Bungle Bungles.
6.Six flags magic mountain, California.
7.See Wild Tigers.
8.Zorbing.
9.Go road tripping.
10.Carnival in Rio.

I fully accept a couple of these should really be on ‘the bucket list’ but never mind. It’s better to be optimistic.

Introduction.

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I’ve been away on trips before, and although I’ve always had best intentions I’ve not documented them as well as I would have liked. I’ve done things like, ‘A Photo A Day’ projects, journals and I’ve always got at least one camera with me where ever I go.

This time around I’m going to try something different.  This trip, the biggest trip of my so far fairly safe travails I have decided I will document and actively write about my adventures.

As such, I’ve decided to create a blog. I’m new to blogging in general, I don’t have a twitter account, I don’t use Instagram or Tumblr & I pretty much just send emails to my mum on Facebook. Basically, I’m pretty useless at ‘social media’.

This is not my point however.  I’m fully aware of the possibilities and riches internet popularity can bestow on you, and whilst that could work out to be an interesting scenario, it’s not my intention. I want to create something I can look back on in the future, and something my friends and family can follow if it’s not entirely shit.

Another reason I want to create this blog is food. I love food. Food is another reason, or excuse to document my adventures. People remember things differently, personally, I remember flavours and tastes.  One of my favourite travelling pastimes is eating things. New things, tasty things and sometimes disgusting things. It’s all part of the experience.

So, our trip is booked.  We have one way flights to Australia with working holiday visa’s in hand, with stops in India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Hopefully, there will be some adventures on the side and a trip to the Americas when our working holiday visas expire provided we’ve worked hard enough and saved enough funds to continue.

I’m obviously excited in general, but especially for India. To be honest it was never anywhere near the top of my travel list, but the more I read into it the more I’m intrigued and interested. I fully accept I’ll be horrifically ill and will probably shit my pants at some point, but I guess the sooner you accept and embrace this fact, the more encompassing your experience will be.